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Managing diurnal changes in rumen pH of cattle grazing fodder beet

This project aims to quantify rumen pH changes in cattle who are grazing fodder beet crops.


This will allow for greater understanding of managing intake dynamics and manipulating the rumen to optimise its function.

High water soluble carbohydrate (sugar) feed sources such as fodder beet, predispose cattle to low rumen pH conditions.

Little is known on the extent of rumen pH fluctuations in these cattle who are grazing fodder beet over the long-term. A greater understanding of rumen conditions will direct methods of pH manipulation to optimise rumen function.

Key methodology: 

  • Work within existing fodder beet research project on farm trial sites (5) throughout south east of South Australia.
  • Rumen pH loggers and/or rumen cannulations for rumen fluid sampling.
Wayne Pitchford


Professor Wayne Pitchford

Co-supervisors: Dr Michael Wilkes | Dr Michelle Hebart

Research area: Production animal health; ruminant science

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Wayne Pitchford, Honours projects - Michelle Hebart, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition